Q: What did you do after graduation and what are you doing now?
After Graduation at 22 years old I needed to experience the world. I traveled to Italy and New York City. I got married and nine years ago landed near Boston MA where I received my MFA in Visual Arts at Lesley University College of Art and Design, Low Residency Program. I am a fulltime mother to my 5 year old son and Visual Artist.
We are all born into this world with a history. What I do with my history and my art practice finds ways to address my experience in it. My history involves migration and issues of race experienced both in the United States and in Puerto Rico, my birth place. At the age of ten my parents made the decision to move from Puerto Rico to Florida. Immigration is an immediate issue in the United States and with it comes discrimination, prejudice, and stereotyping. As a means of negotiating alienation and the absence of familiar people and places I turned to the arts to explore my identity. Consequently, my passion emerged for unearthing a visual language to better articulate through portraiture my observation and/or interpretation of my Latino American experience. As an artist my interest lies in using the history of portraiture and current cultural trends to produce images of both my physical and emotional experiences of displacement.
I have two solo shows coming up in the next 6 months and a Self-Published art book entitled PUERTO ameRICAN: The Untold Story of Pedro Albizu Campos, Angel Ramos Torres and the United States. Available July 1st 2017.
Q: Did you ever see yourself doing what you are doing now when you took your first Creative Arts course at Stetson?
Yes I did, when I took my first Fine Art courses, not Creative arts (creative sounds like craft not Fine Art). I always had faith in my training and art skill developed during my time at Stetson, both Gary Bolding and Dan Gunderson were great mentors and pushed me to excel.
Q: What advice do you have for someone taking their first course right now?
Listen to the Faculty, explore different mediums, push beyond your own boundaries, read about what other artist are doing and find yourself within the conversations in Contemporary art.
Q: What’s the best thing you learned studying Creative Arts @ Stetson?
Studying at Stetson allowed me to learn and grow, as an artist most importantly, I learned how to take criticism. Which allowed me to learn not to take feedback personally.
Nayda A. Cuevas | www.naydacuevasart.com